Wilton Speight 'confident' as QB decision lingers

Wilton Speight hasn't been told he's the starting quarterback, but he's "confident" he can do the job.

With one week left till game day, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh still hasn’t announced his starting quarterback against Hawaii.

 A decision redshirt sophomore Wilton Speight doesn’t expect Harbaugh to make anytime soon.

In fact, a game day decision between Speight, John O’Korn or Shane Morris is the most likely scenario, says Speight, although he also made it a point that neither of the players needs to hear they are starting quarterback -- because it will be implied beforehand anyways, Speight says. 

“As we get closer to the game people know, you don’t need to hear this or that from coach,” Speight said. “John (O’Korn) doesn’t need to hear if he’s going to be the starter, I don’t need to hear that if I’m the starter. Shane doesn’t need to hear it either. So we’ll just feel it out.”

“... I’m saying as an collective offensive players, you don’t need to hear that you’re the guy.”

However, Speight does feel good about what he’s done so far in camp to earn the job.

“I feel really good about the work I’ve put in,” Speight said. “What I’ve shown on the field, If I am chosen, I feel very confident in being able to go lead the team. John is a confident guy. Shane is a confident guy. I’m sure they feel the same way.”

That being said, Speight says he’s not comparing the amount of plays he’s practicing compared to his peers, he just focusing on himself on the practice field.

“I don’t really count reps, I really don’t take that into consideration,” Speight said. “I just focus on the plays I have on hand and doing them to the best of my ability.”

And part of that focus involves sacrifice, Speight put personal enjoyment and recreation on hold this summer. He says he barely played any golf among his summer activities, and spent this summer in Ann Arbor instead of going home to visit his family.

“This summer I left the clubs in the garage,” Speight said. “I really didn’t hit it as much. And I really didn’t go home as much either. I think the past few summers I went home a lot more just to hang with the family. They understood, I said ‘I’ve got to stay up here and grind it out.’ Because I don’t want to look back at camp, at this time right now and say ‘I wish I would’ve done more. I wish I didn’t tee it up as much in June, July or August.’”

What did Speight do with his extra time? Well, he focused on football, of course.

“I was in here (Schembechler Hall), just throwing with guys, watching film, throwing with that guy (Jake Butt), anything I could that involved football. I went out to California a couple times, trained with Steve Clarkson and some other guys out there. Just anything that involved football.”

Speight didn’t play much last season. But when he did play, he played effective enough to lead Michigan to a key come from behind 29-26 road win at Minnesota. Against the Gophers, he threw a late 12-yard touchdown pass to Jehu Chesson, that put the Wolverines on top for good, even though he admits the game speed was sort of “blur” in his moments on the field in 2015, this year he says it's different. 

“This year in camp and in the spring game, I’m dropping back and things are much slower,” Speight said. “I’m seeing guys come open before they are open. And that’s probably the biggest thing, understanding the offense and having the game slowing down.”

And we’ll find out next Saturday if the game has indeed slowed down for Speight or most importantly if he's the starter, when No.7 Michigan plays host to Hawaii at noon ET.

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